Excerpt from Morning & Evening Devotional by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
"How great is the love the Father lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God." 1 John 3: 1 & 2
"Consider who we were, and what we feel ourselves to be even now when corruption is powerful in us, and you will wonder at our adoption. Yet we are called "the children of God." What a high relationship is that of a child, and what privileges it brings! What care and tenderness the child expects from the father, and what love the father feels towards the child! But all that, and more than that, we now have through Christ."
From Marilyn: So I've been thinking about this concept of "child of God" of late and I've wrestled through a couple of thoughts I'd like to share. In Scripture we read sentences like this:
"Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus called an an Apostle..." or "Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother." So we are given a concept of how these amazing men of God viewed themselves when they wrote a letter of instruction to the individual churches. That's one side; as bond-servants, slaves or prisoners for Christ. Then we are so aptly told that we indeed are not orphans as "the enemy" might want us to believe but that we are children of the Father, grafted in the vine and sons and daughters of The Most High. Galatians 4:4-7 "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son: and if a son, then an heir through God." I seem to understand both concepts....as a slave and a daughter of the King, but I fear that my walk at times is reflective of both depending upon circumstances. I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to see myself as a slave or bond-servant when things are troublesome or when I feel that I have not been living up to my love for the Lord. Then I have a single-minded thought that even though a daughter of the King should expect good gifts from the her Father (for I can surely relate to how I view my children), am I really designed for such good gifts, unless of course things are going really well? And how to keep pride at bay if indeed I do see myself as a daughter, worthy of good gifts?
I am not quite sure this will come out as I have pondered, but I've been given a couple "words from the Lord" of late, through some friends at Vineyard Grace Fellowship and they have been so very encouraging. Words like..."You're the apple of God's eye," It's because of your prayers that...," the Lord says that He's going to do great things because of your faithfulness." Now, those are some pretty heavy and most awesome words for me, I'm sure you would agree so, on a day like that, "I am a daughter of the King, I can see HIS good gifts to me and I feel the love!" But yet on a "MONDAY" some time, when I am burdened with the woes of this world in the form of sickness or disease of our people at VGF or when I am anxious about decisions being made all around me or when I fear for the health of a loved one or my life becomes overwhelming, "am I still a daughter of the King or do I reflect that I am a bond-servant or slave with not many rights at all; woe is me, I just have to go with the flow and whatever is, is whatever will be, I don't have much to say about it at all?"
How do I reflect the "bond-servant/slave" devotion of Paul, yet embrace the "daughter of the King," both with the ability and humility to expect good gifts from The Father? I would say that the same good gifts that I have been given are not the same as the good gifts that you've been given, or maybe you don't recognize the many good gifts from the Lord? This quandary should not be so temporal in it's thought process for surely my desire is to walk in the way of both a bond-servant and a daughter - but how? I feel I can answer with two simple words..."the heart." It is the heart of a bond-servant or slave to Christ that a ransom for my freedom was given. I am forever indebted to the riches of His glory because of the great love lavished upon me, personally me...and personally you! It is the work done in my heart that determines how I walk in my faith, THEREFORE, I have the right as a daughter of the King to expect that He will do has He has promised and provide good gifts - I mean the kind of good gifts that we all are able to possess. The Gifts of: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control; trials, the testing of your faith which produces endurance, wisdom and lacking nothing! YAHOO! Truly, we ALL can experience the same good gifts from the Father!
Expect the good gifts of the Lord as you and I walk as His children, with all rights included, but with a heart that is purely spent as a slave to Jesus.